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Dubai

Take an elevator ride to the top of the world's tallest building in dazzling Dubai or bargain for gold and carpets in the busy souks. Watch camel racing or the newest sport: sand skiing. Whether you want to see thousands of pink flamingos or indulge in fantastic duty-free shopping, the UAE is courting discriminating visitors. Discount travel to Dubai is easy with Friendly Planet!

Tours & Packages to Dubai

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Dazzling Dubai
Experience dynamic and opulent Dubai on your own; flights, deluxe hotel & panoramic city tour included
6 days  •  from $1999 $1599
per person, double occupancy*
dates independent stay + flights
Dazzling Dubai & Abu Dhabi
Indulge in the cultural, culinary & captivating landscape of Dubai & Abu Dhabi; explore independently with flights, deluxe hotel & city tours included
8 days  •  $2399 $1999
per person, double occupancy*
dates independent stay + flights
Dazzling Dubai & Bangkok
Enjoy the desert oasis of Dubai, plus the temples, markets & cuisine of Bangkok; explore on your own with flights, deluxe hotel & temple tour included
9 days  •  from $2299 $1999
per person, double occupancy*
dates independent stay + flights
Dazzling Dubai & Cairo
The glittering playground of Dubai; plus buzzing Cairo, the Sphinx & Pyramids of Giza; optional Nile Cruise extension
9 days  •  from $2699 $2399
per person, double occupancy*
dates small group tour + flights
Dazzling Dubai & India Express
Exhilarating and electric Dubai; plus explore the lost empires & current culture of India in Delhi, Agra, the Taj Mahal & the pink city of Jaipur
12 days  •  from $2299 $1999
per person, double occupancy*
dates small group tour + flights
Dazzling Dubai & Kenya Safari
The glamorous desert oasis of Dubai, then Nairobi & 4 game drives in Lake Naivasha & Masai Mara National Game Reserve
10 days  •  from $2849 $2549
per person, double occupancy*
dates small group tour + flights

Fast Facts

Already booked on one of our packages to Dubai? See everything you need to know before you go.

Overview

Population:  2.789 million
Currency: Dirham (AED)
Languages: Arabic
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: GST (UTC +4)

Weather

With its dry, subtropical climate and lots of sunshine, Dubai is a year-round destination. Rainfall is infrequent—mostly during the winter months—but flash floods can occur. Temperatures range from a low of about 50 F to a high of 118 F in the summer. The best time to visit Dubai is during the winter months, November-March. April and May are still pleasant, although it will be warming up. Summers are hot and humid.

Entry requirements

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least six months after your return date.

You may enter Dubai on a free visa issued upon arrival if you hold a passport from the United States or any of the following countries: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Vatican City. Consult the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates or the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

Booked on one of our packages with Scheduled Dates? If you do not hold a passport from one of the countries listed above, you must obtain a visa prior to arrival. If you would like us to obtain this visa on your behalf, please contact us after you book, and we will send instructions and application forms. Or you can obtain your visa directly from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates.

More information about passports & visas.

Shopping

As the shopping capital of the Middle East, Dubai is a true shopper's paradise. Low customs duties make luxury goods less expensive than in most countries. In fact, the Dubai Duty Free is renowned as one of the best duty-free operations in the world.

In the city, there are three main places: shopping malls, souks and the shopping streets or areas. Souks are very common in the Emirates and tend to be good places to buy gold, fabrics, electronics, and traditional Arabic art. Other items to shop for include clothes and fabrics, Persian carpets and rugs, Arabic coffee pots, silver and brass swords and khanjars (curved daggers), ancient rifles, shisha pipes, porcelain prayer beads, antique silver jewelry, brass trinkets, and silver and wooden miniature dhows.

Bargaining is acceptable everywhere, even in the malls.

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

There is no risk of malaria or yellow fever in the United Arab Emirates. While there are no required vaccinations for entry into the United Arab Emirates, consult your doctor about vaccinations and other preventative medicine recommended by the Center for Disease Control. Make sure your food and drinking water are safe as food and waterborne diseases are the primary cause of illness in travelers.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

Power & Adapters

220/240 volts. You will most likely need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances, even though some outlets will correspond to American plug types and voltages. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit. View more information about electrical standards around the world.

Tipping

Where service charges are not included in a bill, a 10% tip for hotel bellhops and restaurant waitstaff is adequate. It is also appropriate to tip taxi drivers a few dirhams.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are ATMs available in Dubai?

    ATMs are found all over the city.
  2. Can I take my cell phone?

    See our blog post on using your cell phone abroad.

Videos

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Rave Reviews

My wife and I had the greatest travel experience with Friendly Planet! From start to finish the trip went without a hitch! The driver met us at the Dubai airport and loaded our luggage, transported us to the JW Marriot hotel. Throughout the trip he and the guide were on time, thoughtful and friendly! All of the side trips we purchased went smoothly! After Dubai we went to Kenya where we were met by the tour guide and driver. After I gathered the luggage I was a bit apprehensive because I had not seen our driver and tour guide yet. When I stepped outside there they were with the local tour sign I was expecting. From day one the trip was amazing and very well planned! A trip of a life time with nothing but great memories!

Ira Norman, Camden, DE
Dazzling Dubai & Kenya Safari

Dave and I just got back from our trip on Monday—we had a blast! It was a great trip in every way! All of the Friendly Planet representatives in both Dubai and Kenya were helpful, pleasant and professional. We will be sure to book through Friendly Planet again!

Kathy McGuire & Dave Merrithew, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Dazzling Dubai